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August 05, 2005



My understanding is that:

(A) At least in the popular press, "supply-side economics" has frequently been used as shorthand for the more extreme versions of the "taxes=>deadweight loss" argument.

(B) In popular debate, many self-identified subscribers to "supply-side economics" have frequently lapsed into the more extreme versions of that argument.

So the "straw man" argument is debatable, at least.

Aaron Bergman

That you think (2) is still in dispute is a testament to the success of the strategy. Kyoto seems to be a complete non sequitor here, so I don't know why you bring it up.


The entire point of Laffer's argument is quite common-sense:

1) At trivial levels, tax rates have trivial effects on economic activity, while at very high levels, they suppress economic activity.

2) Since taxes are calculated as a percentage of economic activity, suppressing economic activity suppresses tax receipts.

3) Laffer takes a standard economic axiom (that demand curves slope downward) and, using some jr-high algebra, shows that for each incremental rise in the tax rate you should expect smaller and smaller increases in tax revenues, and theorizes that once tax rates reach a certain point (the top of the Laffer Curve), that a raise in tax rates will cause a fall in tax receipts.

Where the top of the Laffer curve is should be measureable empirically (and it has been) and you would expect it to be different for different kinds of taxes -- the lower the value that people put on the taxed item, the faster you reach the top of the Laffer Curve. This latter point is well-illustrated by the luxury-boat-tax example -- it turns out that rich people weren't really attached to their yachts, and when we raised the taxes they just gave up the yachts (and we gave up the tax receipts) entirely. The first point has been shown in Scandanavian countries -- for example, suppose your tax rate is 90% and you need your house painted. You earn $100,000, pay $90,000 to the government and $10,000 to the painter. The painter spends $1,000 on supplies, $8,100 in taxes, and gets to keep $900. Or you can take a 1-week leave of absence without pay, spend the $1000, and paint the house yourself. Unless you make more than $99,000 per week then you would be a fool to pay someone to paint your house for you. (Doctors in Scandanavian countries work approximately 1/2 the hours that doctors work in other European countries. Probably because they are at home doing all the things that they can't afford to pay somebody else to do...)

Whether or not we are past the top of the Laffer Curve for this or that individual tax is a question for careful empirical study. Claiming that you are an economist while believing that no tax cut has ever paid for itself is like claiming that you are a paleontologist while believing that the earth was created in six 24-hour days six thousand years ago.

cathy :-)



The non-extreme version of supply side economics, that there are consequences to tax rates, is also know as mainstream economics and is something known and accepted by economists long before Laffer found his nakpin. If supply-siders had said all along that any tax cut would lead to lower revenues there would probably not been much of a debate. Krugman is perfectly right because it is the extreme version that was used by the Right to push its agenda. Jeez Tom surely you read your own comments? Many times your own posters have pushed the (extreme) supply side nonsense.

As for global warming he is also perfectly right. There is really no debate among scientists. As Aaron notes that fact that you still think 2) is in dispute shows how well the right wing tactics have worked.

And I missed where Krugman talked of Kyoto so I don't know why you bring it up. Talking abut strawmen!

Paul Zrimsek

Swell! Think of all the money we won't have to spend any longer on climatic research.


(1) The global climate has been warming over the last century

In the last 500,000 years there have been several glaciation and interglacial periods. We have been in an interglacial period for about 13,000 years i. e. the global climate has, generally speaking, been warming for the last 13 centuries.

2) the global climate has been warming and man-made emissions of greenhouse gases are a significant contributer to the phenomenon

How much warmer will it be during the interglacial period and will the interglacial period last longer than it would without any man-made greenhouse gases or will any additional warming force an end to the glaciation are the questions that determine the significance. This depends on the climate models being used.

3) man-made greenhouse gases are important, per (2), and the Kyoto Protocol, if implemented, would significantly reduce or eliminate man-made warming (i.e., Kyoto is effective);

The Kyoto Protocol does not significantly reduce GLOBAL greenhouse gas emissions over a long enough period of time. It shifts the production of gases from the developed nations to the developing nations and assumes that industry won't follow the shift.



As Aaron notes that fact that you still think 2) is in dispute shows how well the right wing tactics have worked.

Gee, I thought that Aaron was attributing the "dispute" on 2) to the junk-science global-warming snake-oil salesmen. So, GT, (and you, too, Aaron if you are also a believer in the global warming religion) are you a member of the American Meteorological Society? Do you take the Journal of Climate? The Husband is a theoretical physicist with an interest in climate studies, and if you read peer-reviewed scientific journal articles on climate it is quite clear that TM's 2) was never very plausible, and as research and modelling has progressed, has become less and less believable.

Just a little piece of advice: when it comes to evaluating science, it's better to just ignore the journalistic blatherings of communications majors who back in college needed to take that jr-high-level science class 3 times to get a D.

cathy :-)

Warmongering Lunatic

The fact that a scientific question has a consensus answer does not mean it is settled.

As far as #1, the primary problem is that while we detect surface warming, we still have yet to detect higher-atmospheric warming. The satellites and weather ballons keep saying there's no high-altitude warming, which cannot be accounted for in any current model of atmospheric warming. What we know is the groundside thermometers are reading higher, and it is the general consensus that it isn't a statistical artifact, but an actual warming. So the general consensus is that our model of the atmosphere is wrong, but nobody's come up with a consensus replacement. Clearly, the problem as a whole is not settled.

#2 similarly has a consensus answer but is not settled. We know the Earth has at times been warmer in the past than it is nowadays. We know the Earth has undergone serious climactic fluctuations. We also don't have any accepted mechanism for those fluctuations, but we do know for certain they weren't caused by human intervention, because humans didn't have the capacity to intervene. Since we don't know the past mechanism, we cannot be certain what the current mechanism is. Our best candidate is CO₂ buildup for the current warming, because nobody's proposed anything else that works as weel for solving the current particular problem. However, the problem of warming as a whole is not settled.

There is a scientific consensus, as I said. There is not a resolution, because we know the consensus does not thoroughly explain the data.

Compare the theory of the source of energy for the Sun. In the 19th Century, the only explaining mechanism, and thus the scientific consensus, was that the Sun was emitting energy from gravitational contraction. Which set an upper age limit for the Earth at 10,000 years, so clearly the geologists were wrong when some of them claimed the evidence pointed to an Earth millions of years old. It was physically impossible, and thus we needed to figure out what was wrong with geology. Similarly, evolutiuon was clearly wrong, because there wasn't sufficient time for it to happen in.

Then, of course, we discovered fusion, and the problems with geology and evolution went away -- by breaking the consensus that the Earth could only be 10,000 years old.

Jim Glass

One of the symptoms of Krugman's decent into hackery is the way he's never honest enough to attribute any opposing point of view to the smart people behind it. He always has to attribute it to some loon or crank.

Why, the loon lobby that would limit the size of government is led by that extremely loony lobbyist Grover Norquist -- not by Nobelists like Friedman, Becker, Coase ... because it'd be hard for PK to engeage in his mandatory name calling against the likes of them.

And supply-siders are just cranks like [fill in the crank], not Nobelists like, say, Robert Lucas, who's said:

"The supply-side economists ... have delivered the largest genuinely free lunch I have seen in 25 years in this business, and I believe we would have a better society if we followed their advice."
And whose 2003 American Economic Association presidential address (.pdf) was dedicated to the proposition:
"the potential for welfare gains from better long-run, supply side policies exceeds by far the potential from further improvements in short-run demand management...

"The potential gains from improved stabilization policies are on the order of hundredths of a percent of consumption, perhaps two orders of magnitude smaller than the potential benefits of available 'supply-side' fiscal reforms"

Krugman probably still pays dues to the AEA, so he's heard of Lucas. Let him quote that!

Aaron Bergman
Gee, I thought that Aaron was attributing the "dispute" on 2) to the junk-science global-warming snake-oil salesmen. So, GT, (and you, too, Aaron if you are also a believer in the global warming religion) are you a member of the American Meteorological Society? Do you take the Journal of Climate? The Husband is a theoretical physicist with an interest in climate studies,

Funny thing. Turns out that I'm a theoretical physicist, too. I've had the pleasure of actually knowing some climatologists, too. And, I can assure you that

...if you read peer-reviewed scientific journal articles on climate it is quite clear that TM's 2) was never very plausible, and as research and modelling has progressed, has become less and less believable.

this is simply not at all true.


Warmongering Lunatic, I googled 'higher atmospheric warming' and this from the NOAA was the first link.

'An enhanced greenhouse effect is expected to cause cooling in higher parts of the atmosphere because the increased "blanketing" effect in the lower atmosphere holds in more heat, allowing less to reach the upper atmosphere. Cooling of the lower stratosphere (about 49,000-79,500ft.) since 1979 is shown by both satellite Microwave Sounding Unit and radiosonde data, but is larger in the radiosonde data.

Relatively cool surface and tropospheric temperatures, and a relatively warmer lower stratosphere, were observed in 1992 and 1993, following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The warming reappeared in 1994. A dramatic global warming, at least partly associated with the record El Niño, took place in 1998. This warming episode is reflected from the surface to the top of the troposphere.'

So I guess there is some accounting for it after all.



I'm sure even you must have realized that it is the likes of Norquist and Kristol that help set policy and debate in the GOP, not Lucas.

When I hear GOP politicians spout sensible analyses like those of Lucas then maybe you will have a point about Krugman.

But that's not the case today.

See, in case you missed it, Krugman isn't attacking the loonies just because they are loony. He's attacking them because they are in power. Who do you think the WH sends senior envoys to talk to and keep informed, Norquist or Lucas?

Tommy V

"that tax cuts have such miraculous positive effects on the economy that they pay for themselves - has never been backed by evidence."

I suppose this depends on how you define "pay for themselves", but Kennedy, Reagan and Bush experienced a significant raise in gross revenue after their tax cuts.

They also followed this up with a signifcant raise in spending but that is a whole other story.


Actually, TM, I made a similar point about loose use of the term "global warming" some time ago, and broke out your #1 into two separate points. Here's the alternative phrasing, even before you get to the specifics of Kyoto:

1. The earth has, for some period of time, been getting warmer.

2. This past warming trend is not a random or cyclical phenomenon but is a trend that will continue into the future unless interrupted by human intervention.

3. The past trend and its continuation into the future are the results of specifically identifiable human activities, i.e., carbon emissions.

The fact that my #1 seems to be widely accepted does not, in and of itself, prove my #2, even before we get to the point that is #3 on my list and #2 on yours.


Crank, no matter how much you slice up the issue, Krugman is right. TM's point 2 and your point 3 are widely accepted. There are fewer and fewer left who think that climate change is not human caused.


If there is a big aspect of global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, how far will reducing industry emissions go towards solving the problem in the long term? Even if it slowed the rate of warming, it can't stop it since the number of exhaling/farting earth critters is constantly growing.

If we add up all the exhaling/farting creatures and compare to the current industrial output, how much of a difference is there?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, I really don't know.


Syl, from the 2002 DOE report on greenhouse gasses, the 84% of America's carbon emissions come from industry and energy consumption. I have no idea what the othe major emitters are like, but I'm willing to be they're close to the U.S. So, in answer to your question, reducing carbon emissions in America would be pretty goddamn significant in curbing greenhouse gasses.


Scratch a 'the' and add a 't' to 'be'.

Appalled Moderate


Krugman said:

"The most spectacular example is the campaign to discredit research on global warming. Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus, many people have the impression that the issue is still unresolved. This impression reflects the assiduous work of conservative think tanks, which produce and promote skeptical reports that look like peer-reviewed research, but aren't. And behind it all lies lavish financing from the energy industry, especially ExxonMobil."

It's pretty clear what Krugman is saying -- people are trying to debunk global warming research. There is nary a reference to Kyoto in what the Krug's got to say here, and by dragging it in, you are constructing some strawmen of your own.


I’m not an atmospheric physicist—and I don’t play one on television, either. Yet, surprisingly, as a literate individual, I can read about what such scientists do agree.

Frederick Seitz, Past President of the National Academy of Sciences, and President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, has circulated a petition which some 17,000 basic and applied American scientists have signed. (Petition and signatories can be found at:

The petition, in part, states:

“The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.

This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.

The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.

It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice.” [Emphasis added]

The basis of the petition is a paper entitled “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” which states in its abstract:

“A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th Century have produced no deleterious effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge.”

While the paper’s summary stated:

World leaders gathered in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 to consider a world treaty restricting emissions of ''greenhouse gases,'' chiefly carbon dioxide (CO2), that are thought to cause ''global warming'' severe increases in Earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures, with disastrous environmental consequences. Predictions of global warming are based on computer climate modeling, a branch of science still in its infancy. The empirical evidence actual measurements of Earth's temperature shows no man-made warming trend. Indeed, over the past two decades, when CO2 levels have been at their highest, global average temperatures have actually cooled slightly.

To be sure, CO2 levels have increased substantially since the Industrial Revolution, and are expected to continue doing so. It is reasonable to believe that humans have been responsible for much of this increase. But the effect on the environment is likely to be benign. Greenhouse gases cause plant life, and the animal life that depends upon it, to thrive. What mankind is doing is liberating carbon from beneath the Earth's surface and putting it into the atmosphere, where it is available for conversion into living organisms.

The paper can be found at: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm.

As a consensus regarding CO2, “global warming”, and the Kyoto Treaty, I suggest that Fred Seitz’s Petition Project, and it’s 17,000 signatories, might be an appropriate place to start.

Is this the “overwhelming scientific consensus” Krugman is referring to? Or is there another one?


Hey Aaron- re: your paper "A Note on Intersecting and Fluctuating Solitons in 4D Noncommutative Field Theory". Pretty good 9for a rookie), but you commit the fallacy of the undistributed middle on pg. 27 paragraph 2.



"84% of America's carbon emissions come from industry and energy consumption."

Okay. I don't see why one has to have an 'Oh dear' reaction to this figure. It's about a 5:1 ratio. If one halves industrial/energy emissions and doubles the biomass contribution we're in the same boat. Well, add a volcano here and there.

Paul Zrimsek

For those of you calling foul on TM's mention of Kyoto, I share your frustration. Can we please stick to the single topic of intelligent global climate-side warming supply design?

Seriously, though: if you'll re-read TM's next-to-last sentence, you'll notice that he's sort of inviting you to suggest your own alternative for (3) and beyond. Which is needed because if you leave it at just (1) and (2) everyone's reply will be "so what's your point?" Suggested format for providing one:

(3) Why (1) and (2) add up to something bad, and at least a rough guess at how bad it is;

(4) What should be done about it;

(5) How much you expect (4) to cost.

To avoid making Krugman look like a teller of half-truths at best, some evidence that scientists regard your (3)-(5) as unassailable would also be a good thing.

Aaron Bergman

Ah, the survey again. I guess I should link to Tim Lambert's Global Warming Bingo.

This page also has some useful links on the petition in particular.



The issue is far from settled. Do you disregard the 17,000 scientist that signed a petition (1997 or 98) rejecting Kyoto? Maybe you've choosen to ignore the admission of at least one "climatologist", to the effect that, well sure we have to exaggerate it because serious funding dollars are at stake. Can you explain, based upon man-induced global warming, why you constantly see references to "hottest day in last 500 years"? What were the man-made emissions 500 years ago? Think the reported higher than average solar output have anything to do with it? If climatology is such an exact science, why did they forecast the coming "Ice Age" just 30 years ago? If you claim they've advanced in the last 30 years, please cite examples.

My take: the Earth has endured endless cycles of temperature changes. Started long before man was a pimple on the Earth's surface. Are man's "emissions" the cause? Not very likely based upon the cyclic history. Can man's "emissions" make things worse? Maybe, but how much, and can reducing them make a significant difference?
Or should we look closer at the environmentalist agenda, yea even those esteemed members of the EU who have been so kind as to tell us that, that Kyoto is about much more than global warming - why its about leveling the (business) playing field. Europe can't compete with the US so lets handicap her economy. NOTE: Three of the top polluters, and growing every day, (China, India, & Brazil) were exempted from meeting Kyoto emmission guidelines. Russia was given "credits" it could sell today, then back out (2012)once it's emissions required action on their part. Sounds like a serious agreement to me.

John A

Aaron and others -
I do think Earth is warming.
But I think mankind's contribution is at most a small contribution toward the tipping point.
I am still waiting for those blaming it all on industry and cars to explain how this connects with, in early 2004, astronomers noting alarmingly-greater-than-normal warming on Mars and the moons of the gas giants.


Thanks for the links.

Needless to say, I find those critiques underwhelming.

Mr. Church's conclusion that the "Petition Project illustrates all too clearly, the consequences of using publicity and political advocacy tools like petitions to push policies without involving real scientific consensus anywhere in the process." is hypocrisy of the highest order.

It's a temper tantrum on the order of discrediting the methods used to advance an interest, without actually confronting the interest in question.

And of course, he does try to address some issues--such as seemingly nit picking errors--but provides no sources or citations, that I can find. (I haven't made an exhausitve seach of his site, yet.)

At this point, I'm still sticking with the former President of the National Academy of Sciences, and his petition signatories, over that of a former aerospace engineer currently working as a landscape photographer.

And please, a link to Tim Lambert as a counter-argument. I thought you claimed to be a physicist--I would have expected something, well, less frivolous.


Jim E.

What's wrong with Tim Lambert? Isn't he one of the guys who helped expose John Lott as a fraud?

I'm just curious why I shouldn't trust him. I don't know anything else about the guy.


"As a consensus regarding CO2, “global warming”, and the Kyoto Treaty, I suggest that Fred Seitz’s Petition Project."

Fred Seitz is about 95 years old, and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine is about as close to quakery as you get.

This link is to information from the national academy of sciences.

The general consensus is that CO2 is the main driver of global warming.
Check out the journals Science and Nature for information, these are solid well respected scientific sources.
Many papers are coming out on this topic here are recent abstracts that are representative of the general tone.

Science V308 p1431 2005.
Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications
Hansen,J. et. al.
"Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years. Implications include (i) the expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6°C without further change of atmospheric composition; (ii) the confirmation of the climate system's lag in responding to forcings, implying the need for anticipatory actions to avoid any specified level of climate change; and (iii) the likelihood of acceleration of ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise. "

Science, Vol 309, Issue 5732, 254-255 , 8 July 2005
Warming the World's Oceans
Gabriele C. Hegerl and Nathaniel L. Bindoff
"Several recent studies have provided evidence for a warming of the world's oceans. In their Perspective, Hegerl and Bindoff highlight the report by Barnett et al., whose study substantially strengthens the evidence that human activities are responsible for the observed ocean warming. The observed space-time pattern of ocean warming with depth can only be explained if greenhouse gas forcing is considered in simulations of ocean climate change. The study has important implications for validating model simulations and hence for projections of future warming. Further study of the world's oceans is still needed to better understand ocean variability, to quantify the likelihood of sudden ocean change, and to predict future changes in ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems. "


Steven J.

International science academies issue joint call for greenhouse gas cuts
Tue Jun 7, 1:37 PM ET

LONDON (AP) - The U.S. National Academy of Sciences joined similar groups from other countries Tuesday in a call for
prompt action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning that delays will be costly.
Lord May, president of Britain's Royal Society, said in releasing the statement that Bush's policy on climate change was
"misguided" and ignored scientific evidence.
The statement called on G-8 countries to "identify cost-effective steps that can be taken now to contribute to substantial
and long-term reductions in net global greenhouse gas emissions."
It urged the G-8 countries to "recognize that delayed action will increase the risk of adverse environmental effects and will
likely incur a greater cost."
Besides the U.S. and British academies, the statement was published by those in France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy
and Canada, along with ones in Brazil, China and India.

"It is clear that world leaders, including the G-8, can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an
excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions," Lord May said.
He noted the statement was endorsed by scientists in Brazil, China and India - nations "who are among the largest
emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world."


Krugman is an unhinged lightweight that appeals to the half-smart types that actually think NPR is sophisticated content.

a. Supply-side at its simplest is the Laffer curve. Which is a hump. A maximum. IOW, raising taxes at low levels increases revenue. At some level, it decreases them. Looking at all the examples of taxes at different levels, it is easy to find examples on either side of the maximum. Krugman is either a moron or a sophist or both, to say that "supply side" always says taxes reduce revenue. Look at that napkin, dickwad. And think about it.

The point about subsidizing research of a certain viewpoint is an interesting deep one. of course, Krugman does nothing to develop it. (note that one can also make the point that dollars flow to research that preach global warming. For instance, quality negative research is often published with lots of caveats (like the peice that said the ross ice shelf was unlikely to carve off). While the opposite type stuff has minimal caveats and lots of extension to implications. (I know how to read this stuff into articles...I've published lots of peer reviewed stuff.)

At the end, Krugman blathers about Bush and the anti evolution, which I agree is silly. But I like how it pisses Kruggie off.


So a consensus has emerged - when Krugman writes about Intelligent Design and supply side taxes, he is ultimately worried about the impact on public policy choices, but when he writes about global warming, no reasonable reader could think that he was interested in anything other than the dry science.

Whatever. His last paragraph may have confused me into thinking he had public policy implication in mind in all three:

>blockquote>The important thing to remember is that like supply-side economics or global-warming skepticism, intelligent design doesn't have to attract significant support from actual researchers to be effective. All it has to do is create confusion, to make it seem as if there really is a controversy about the validity of evolutionary theory. That, together with the political muscle of the religious right, may be enough to start a process that ends with banishing Darwin from the classroom.

And just as his conclusion went right over my head, I see that my last sentence went right over the head of some of the critics here:

In any case, if Krugman or his acolytes could tell us what "the issue" is on which a consensus has emerged, we are all ears. Or eyes.

If folks are going to ignore my clever caveats, why do I bother?

Aaron Bergman
So a consensus has emerged - when Krugman writes about Intelligent Design and supply side taxes, he is ultimately worried about the impact on public policy choices, but when he writes about global warming, no reasonable reader could think that he was interested in anything other than the dry science.

Now this is completely disingenuous. Of course he's interested in policy implications. You're mocking people who aren't here, apparently. His point, which I think any honest reading could discern, is that, in order to not have to deal with the policy implications of a particular scientific issue, there have been countless attacks and attempts to muddy the waters of the scientific consensus. That there have also been attacks only the policy implications of that consensus is completely irrelevant.

So, I confess to being a bit puzzled. What part of Krugman's column made you think that he was referring to Kyoto as part of an "overwhelming scientific consensus" when Kyoto is clearly a policy issue and not scientific question?


I am still waiting for those blaming it all on industry and cars to explain how this connects with, in early 2004, astronomers noting alarmingly-greater-than-normal warming on Mars and the moons of the gas giants.

Again, this is a strawman. Nobody (at least in the scientific community -- I can't speak for idiot luddite environmentalists) blames everything on oil and cars. As for Mars, I'm sort of curious, have you actually asked anyone? If I remember correctly (and I may not be), Mars is emerging from an ice age and is warming slowly. Regardless, Mars is a completely different atmospheric system from Earth and solar forcing (if that's your claim here) is certainly taken into account by climatologists.

I think that the issue of the survey is adequately dealt with in the other posts -- I'll stick with the current NAS, thank you.


Climate for the scientists, who need more pwerful models, and public policy for the politicians. Whatever the case for climate, the data is not there to support the sort of policy change, like Kyoto, demanded by hysterics.

What is the consequesnce of continuously sequestering carbon in underground fasts unavailable to the biosphere? Have the eons of carbons sequestration caused the earth to teeter toward an irreversible cooling? Have we humans come along just in time to save Gaia from the deep freeze? Next time you see someone in a fat SUV, salute the brave warrior inside battling steadfastly in the Carbon Liberation War.

Jim Glass

"Jim, I'm sure even you must have realized that it is the likes of Norquist, and Kristol that help set policy and debate in the GOP, not Lucas.

"When I hear GOP politicians spout sensible analyses like those of Lucas then maybe you will have a point about Krugman."

Lucas endorses private accounts in Social Security. I'm glad you consider that sensible.

Well, Friedman, Mundell, Prescott, Smith and Becker do to, all sensible enough people by the standards of the Nobel Committee.

But how many of them have Krugman answered on this in his column, or even mentioned in it? Give us a count and compare it to the number of times he's mentioned Norquist, and the all greedy brokers who want clean up on SS investment fees, and all those plotting righties -- "a conspiracy operating out in the open" he's called it -- who want to destroy SS and FDR's New Deal. Give us a comparison count.

As to supply side economics, the argument for it -- for low taxes, deregulation and small government -- has been made for a generation by all of the above plus the likes of Coase, Fogel, Buchanan and so on. But when has Krugman identified it with any of them?

Ah, you say this is because "it is the likes of Norquist and Kristol that help set policy and debate in the GOP". They help set GOP policy debate!

Well, all the op-eds and public policy endorsements by all the above (e.g. like on SS private accounts) "help set policy and debate" too, do they not? Do you *really* believe that guys like Friedman, Mundell, Prescott, Becker and Coase have had no effect on policy and debate?

Of course, I understand the Krugmanesque tactic of *saying* so. ;-)

Or perhaps you are saying that Krugman has in him somewhere a single column along the lines of...

The excesses of Grover Norquist aside, there are sensible, well thought out supply-side arguments against my favored 50% expansion of the federal government, which are voiced by a good number of Nobel economists, which I will now explain before answering ...

... cause I'm waiting! ;-)

Steven J.

Well, Friedman, Mundell, Prescott, Smith and Becker do to, all sensible enough people by the standards of the Nobel Committee.

Gell-Mann to Feynman (or vice-versa): "You mean those guys were actually on the same stage with you?"

So much for "sensible" clowns from a pseudo-science.


Surely you must be joking.

Charlie (Colorado)

Climate Audit is a useful technical site.


"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."

My guess is that the great Sidney Hook never met THE Paul Krugman but it's clear he met many Paul Krugmans (of both ends of the political spectrum).



What's the latest on the hockey stick?

Tim Lambert

Tom, I am puzzled why you have had such difficulty in understanding what Krugman meant by global warming research. I think the reference to "hard science" should have made it clear to you that Kyoto was not included. Global warming is happening and we are causing it. That's what the climate scientists say. Note that the people here disputing it are linking to web sites run by people who are cranks rather than climate scientists.


Can any climate scientist tell me what happens to the earth when you progressively sequester carbon?


Attacking strawmen is a trademark of the mentally and ethically challenged, childish left. I'm reminded of the infantlike 18-year-old college student who was complaining to me off errant bombs committing collateral damage in Afghanistan. See, he said, you all told me that the smart bombs never make mistakes. No, I told him, I've struggled to try to convey a sense of reality, of the fog of war, to your childish video game head. But...but he said...on TV, they convinced me that it was true. I doubt even imbiciles on TV said that. But the really hard thing is to stop you from jumping to conclusions about what your opponent is advocating when you are so knee jerk.

Appalled Moderate


You can have an honest discussion about global warming without discussing Kyoto. As a matter of fact, an intelligent discussion would probably exclude Kyoto. Bush's group really appears to have a reluctance to admit that globabl warming is happening. That's unwise. Most enviros refuse to accept Kyoto was about as misbegotten a treaty as there ever was, designed to keep the Euro green parties happy and quiescent, without obliging anyone to do anything that was remotely possible.

I think, therefore, piling on Krugman was unfair on this. I think he was actually speaking the truth. When he writes on how Kyoto is a wonderful idea we must embrace now, I will join you in the mockery.

Paul Zrimsek

Well, Tom, I guess you've gotten as much of an answer to your question as you're going to get: thanks to the modern scientific miracle of Arbitrary Domain Restriction, "the issue" is defined-- tautologically-- as that portion of the science that has actually been resolved.

Appalled Moderate

Paul Z:

Global warming is science.

What we do about it is policy -- not science. Personally, I find arguments that the money can be better spent on other environmental issues very persuasive.


Oh that explains why they are so sure.

Paul Zrimsek

Never suggested otherwise, AM. What I'm trying to remind everyone is that-- leaving policy entirely aside-- the science consists of both resolved and (many more) unresolved questions. So when Krugman talks about "an overwhelming scientific consensus", he's excluding from the domain of this statement more than just policy. (Or else he's talking through his hat.)


climactic predictive modeling is not yet a science that has the capability to generate consensus or even well thought out views. It is not at the level of BCS modeling of superconductors or Mendeleev's table. It is much more like the initial attempts to start a taxonomy of animals. Now that does not mean that the GW deniers are in the right. only that GW advocates are looking at a mathematical/physical understanding with LOTS of gaps still in it.

An interesting issue to look back at is the "nuclear winter" that Sagan et al pushed in the 80s. It was subsequently shown that their methods were significantly flawed and basically lousy. Also that some of them knew of the many, many caveats needed with their modeling, but misrepresented things because of their policy beliefs.


1. At some point the best climate models will be used for weather control.

2. At that point weather the climate is warming or whose fault it is will be moot because climate change won't just be caused by humans, it will be controlled by humans.

3. Under human control the global climate will be significantly WARMER than it is now because that's what people want.


Look, if putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere warms the earth, then taking it out cools it, and that's what's been happening for hundreds of millions of years. What would be the inevitable consequesce of never returning that carbon to the ecosphere?


The presence of deposits proves a disequilibrium in carbon distribution and a progressive sesquestration of carbon. How long could the earth take that?


There doesn't seem to be a talking points answer to your question kim.


Anybody have some decent (not worst case, but best guess) extrapolations from the GW crews? I want to know when we can expect alligators and palm trees in Virginia. Ever?


Yeah, Boris, I've asked it around. It generally strikes people dumb.


Yes TCO, ever. Sooner or later.

Greg F

Steven J,

Lord May’s press release is a perfect example of how politics has entered into the issue. Dr Alberts, NAS president, wrote Lord May.

"Dr Alberts responded by writing to the Royal Society and telling Lord May: "Your statement is quite misleading."

He accused Lord May of presenting the findings of the NAS, and their exact recommendations on cutting greenhouse gases, in a way that "considerably changed our report's meaning and intent."

"As you must appreciate," the letter continued, "having your own misinterpretation of the US Academy work widely quoted in our press has caused considerable confusion, both at my Academy and in our government."

"By advertising our work in this way, you have in fact vitiated much of the careful work that went into preparing the actual G8 statement." Dr Alberts then warned that future collaborations between the academies could be at risk."


Politicians must determine policy, even after scientists can reliably predict, which ain't yet.


By golly, it's analogous to the way intelligence agencies are supposed to do their best to supply reliable analysis and the politicians are supposed to decide what to do with it.

Some liberals are such closet aristocrats.


Alright, back to the hockey stick. What the puck is up with that?


Well where did all that carbon come from that is stashed underground and where would it go if released?
Carbon dioxide dissolves in water, the amount dependent on temperature af water and vapor pressure of CO2. I haven't seen the immense variabilities possible there explored, or at least discussed.

Just what is going on with carbon? Anyone know?


Whither thou goest, and whence cameth thee, Oh Carbon?

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